Cleveland Browns Preview
The Browns were the surprise team last year. Now that they can’t sneak up on anybody, I’m interested to see how they will do.
Offensivley they were one of the best units last year. Derek Anderson was an unbelievable find racking up nearly 3800 yards and 29 TDs. He suffered a concussion this preseason, which hopefully won’t carry with him into the seasons. If it does, Brady Quinn will be waiting in the wings. From what he’s shown this preseason, he needs a little more time learning the position. At Running Back Jamal Lewis had a surprising year as well. He tallied over 1550 total yards and 11 TDs. He was particularly effective down the stretch. At Wide Receiver the Browns added Donte Stallworth to compliment Braylon Edwards. At Tight End Kellen Winslow is one of the game’s best. Their Offensive Line is great, anchored by second-year Left Tackle Joe Thomas. They are even well-stocked in their return game with Joshua Cribbs.
Defense is, and will continue to be, their weekness. They did add Shaun Rogers, which should help. LB D’Qwell Jackson (101 Tackles) and FS Sean Jones (96 Tackles, 5 INTs) are their biggest playmakers. They had a few guys with 4 or 5 Sacks, but nobody who put real pressure on the Defense. Hopefully Rogers can either provide that pressure or draw enough attention that somebody else will be able to.
I think they will be decent this year, but I don’t see a playoff berth in their cards. The AFC is just too loaded. 8 or 9 Wins is what I expect.
Fantasy-wise the Browns are stacked. I’m not a huge DA guy, but he did produce monster numbers at QB. I cant’ justify taking him early, so he’d only make it to my team if he fell into my lap. Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow are beasts in their respective positions. Jamal Lewis should be productive again, and as long as he seems to be associated with a decline like the Edge, he’ll be a great value. Donte Stallworth is worth snagging as a 4th or 5th WR. Phil Dawson is a solid Kicker. I wouldn’t reach for him, but if he’s there on your last pick, he’s worthy of a roster spot.